Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lockdown Poker

Good morning everyone.  Plenty of poker to talk about, after a tease for my Friday entry.  I don't know when these "previews" started for my blog entries (actually, I know EXACTLY when these previews for my blog entries began - it happened as soon as I returned to Las Vegas)...  Anyway, I have placed my first football bets of the season, both college and NFL, so on Friday I will have some picks for you.  The total amount of money that I bet for the opening of both the college and NFL seasons will be relatively small because no one has played any real games to 'scout' yet (obviously), but I put together some parlays today in anticipation of some betting lines changing in the next couple of weeks.  An example of this is the opening game between the Steelers and the Broncos.  The Broncos came out as 1 1/2 point favorites when betting opened, but the line is now a "pick 'em" - Peyton Manning has been throwing interceptions in the preseason, more than touchdowns to this point, which I am sure has contributed to this movement.  I read somewhere that someone thought that Denver was taking a huge risk by signing him - hmmm....  Anyway, more about this stuff on Friday...

This weekend I decided to try a little "experiment" at the poker tables.  I am sure that I have already mentioned that now is a GREAT TIME to be a poker player living in the desert due to the amount of promotions that are being put on by the various poker rooms in an effort to bring in players.  Among these promotions are SEVERAL "freeroll" tournaments that are being held by the poker rooms.  To qualify for a freeroll tournament, a player has to play a certain number of hours in a given period of time.  The qualifying time period can be a week, a month, a couple of months, etc...  I have seen freeroll tournaments available for all of these possible qualifying periods without searching that hard yet honestly...  Anyway, if you play at least the required number of qualifying hours, then you receive a "free" entry into the tournament (free depending upon how well or poorly you fared while qualifying in the cash games)...  ;)

After playing that one no-limit session at Bally's where I had bought in as a short stack and managed to make more money in 50 minutes than I had previously lost in a week's worth of limit sessions combined, I thought that I would try to qualify for a freeroll tournament by playing "lockdown poker" in the no-limit cash games.  This strategy had me buying in for the table minimum and playing SUPERTIGHT, and as long as I was not losing my shirt, I would keep going.  I earned 25 hours for a freeroll tournament (15 hours to qualify, 25 hours giving you the maximum number of starting chips available) by booking sessions of +$58.00, -$37.00, +$27.00, +$7.00, and +$5.00 for a combined qualifying result of $+60.00.

You have to be VERY PATIENT to implement this strategy, and my biggest losses in hands occurred when I tried to make moves at the wrong time.  The first time that I made a move at the wrong time occurred when I was playing with Atlanta (Mrs. Atlanta to be more specific - I referenced the friendly Atlanta couple that I played with in my last entry if you're lost right now).  I was on the button with K 10, and everyone who had entered the pot (only a few players) had limped in for 3 bucks (1/3 no-limit game).  After I shove for almost 40, Atlanta CALLS ME from the small blind (I KNEW that this was trouble, as she had been playing very similarly to me).  Surely enough, she flipped over A K, which was the hand that I expected to see, and surely enough, I didn't catch up, ever after flopping a straight draw...  The other instance where I had bad timing was shoving for 40 on a bunch of limpers with A K, and being ultimately called by the big blind, who held 8 8...  Now this confused me, because I don't know why someone would call from 3 to 40 when at best they're in a race situation (BELIEVE ME, I was playing SO TIGHT that facing 2 overcards was going to be their "best case" scenario), and at worst they'd be chasing a bigger pocket pair.  Anyway, the 8's held up, and these were my 2 big losses during my qualifying.

Before I get to the good hands, let me tell my story about the player who knows everything here (I teased this in my last blog entry also).  While playing with Atlanta (Mrs. Atlanta), we were "fortunate" enough to sit with a gentleman who just knew EVERYTHING about no-limit hold 'em, and I believe that in an effort to impress Atlanta, he was bestowing ALL of his knowledge upon us (UGGGHHH)...  If he didn't talk about various aspects of poker and how to play certain hands FOR AN HOUR STRAIGHT, it was pretty freakin close...  Anyway, the thing that I mentioned on Monday was that for knowing everything, he NEVER KNEW when it was his turn, and the dealer was CONSTANTLY letting him know that the action was on him.  In all fairness, let me say that when he left the table, he was ahead for his session (at least for what I had seen him buy in for), and unfortunately for Atlanta, he hit a jackpot hand against her.  The two things that bothered me the most about him occurred during this hand.  On a two-diamond flop, he bet 25, Atlanta shoved for about 55, and then he just HOLLYWOODS for all it's worth when everyone folds to him.  He goes into the tank, starts asking Atlanta about her hand, and then he flips over his hand, showing that he had spiked a set of 2's...  Long story short, he finally calls, and Atlanta shows that she shoved with a high flush draw.  Of course another deuce hits the board, so our villain makes quads and wins a high-hand bonus.  In the aftermath of the hand, the first thing that bothered me was that he proceeds to "educate" Atlanta about the hand.  She later said (and understandably so) that she doesn't want to hear an in-depth analysis of the hand (paraphrased) from you after she loses it to you.  Secondly, in this detailed "verbal instant replay" (and this is what got me, and I ALMOST said something, and now wish that I had), the villain said that there isn't any way that he could fold his set there...  WELL, if you weren't going to fold, then WHY was the big production necessary?!  Browbeat the person who shoved, flip over your set, hollywood, hollywood, blah, blah, BLAH!

Anyway, a brief recap of the good news for me.  I won a small pot after limping with A Q, then getting everyone to fold after shoving for about 40 over the raise to 12 (I won a handful of pots in this fashion during my lockdown sessions - either limp/raising all-in, or just shoving when the action got to me).  I shoved A K for about 35 once and was called by someone who never showed (flopped a K, turned a K).  After raising A Q to 11 once, I was called only by the player to my left, and with a Q-high flop, I checked, he bet 15, I shoved for 25 more, and he called with 7's (no 7 on the flop, and none came)...

*BIGGEST HAND*  My biggest win during the lockdown sessions occurred when the player to my right announced preflop that he was going to go all-in BLIND for his 42 bucks.  He was under-the-gun, and for some reason, the dealer wasn't letting him put his stack in before the hand was dealt - he was only allowing him to straddle.  Well, I looked down at A Q suited, and not wanting to lose him, I just limped at this point.  Several other limped for 6, and then UTG makes it 42 total.  I make it 46 total, and then the guy to my left calls both all-ins.  When the 3 of us flip our cards, blind-shover has 2-4 and guy to my left has J 9.  I am ahead, but everyone has live cards.  The flop comes A 2 3, giving blind-shover a pair and straight draw, although I'm still ahead.  The turn is another 3, and the river is a jack, so I win!  :)  I had been down in this session, and this was the hand that enabled me to finish +$27.00.

I was happy to book a small overall win while qualifying for the freeroll, although I'll understand if you never try this strategy because it does require SO MUCH patience, and you probably want to play some actual poker...  :)  I never had kings during this qualifying period, and the only time that I was dealt aces (during the last session), I decided to limp with them because I was UTG+1, and I hoped for a raise from the aggressive players to follow me.  Well, as luck had it, everyone else who came in behind me also limped, and on a flop of 4 4 x, the small-blind bet out 10, so I folded the rockets right there...

I hope that you enjoyed this verbose post, and I'll see you again on Friday with some football bets!!!  :)  Have a great day!


  1. Hate people like that. Table your hand. Get on with it. He is right he can not (or should not) fold once he puts in 25 and gets jammed by 55.. It's a no brainer. So he should stop being an ahole and just flip his cards and let the game continue.

    I am kind of amazed that someone would put in 12 then fold to your 40 jam too.. kind of weak. Do not try that shit on me when I come to Vegas! ;)

  2. 12, 13 was a pretty standard raise in this 1/3 game, so many times it was with less than stellar hands... :)

  3. One time a guy at Bally's told me that the size of everyone's chip stacks had nothing to do with any poker skill -- that it was all luck anyway. Needless to say, at the time he said this I had a mountain of chips and he had a tiny stack. : o )

  4. It's funny how that works... At MSN, the site that I'm still using for 'practice' (I play really loose there, then really tight on the Strip), the lower-rated players will tell you TO A MAN that the ratings mean nothing... :)

  5. i havent really been to the riv lately since my bankroll is so incredibly short even with the $50 min buyin i dont feel i can afford $1-3 nl as opposed to $1-2. i assume uve probably seen and met grump, and he was in the 1 seat as usual? he likes to go when the pool players are there. last night after leaving aces cracked at hooters, herbie and sickcallmggee who uve also never met almost went there, but i talked them into going elsewhere since i didnt want to play $1-3 so underrolled. so u missed ur chance to meet both of them. and me too for that matter.

  6. If I saw Grump I didn't know it... It seems like there are weak no-limit games all over town from what I've seen - something that I forgot to mention in this post is that I've COMMONLY seen several limpers in a hand for 2 or 3 dollars who will then call a raise to 15 or 20... #whynotraiseyourself

    1. You see that all the time at these lower limits, limp/calling anything preflop. Hey let's get together sometime soon, play a little poker & talk football.

    2. Just get in touch with me on twitter - I sent you a message. The stupid line moved on the Texans before I bet them - now - 8 1/2 vs. Miami...